Written by Jim Beavers and Chris Stapleton
With a fiery vocal performance and a relentless percussion track that evokes a stampede of horses, “Parachute” might best be described as Country Rock & Western.
Chris Stapleton sells a pretty good song above its grade level, knowing to enunciate the strongest line of the chorus – “Falling feels like flying till you hit the ground” – and relying on raw emotion to deliver the rest.
I’ve got to go back to that percussion track because it really is borrowed from the Western part of what was once called Country & Western, and without it, I don’t know that this record could stake any claim to a country music connection. It gives the record its urgency and its identity.
Stapleton has artistic credibility to burn, and the reasons for that go beyond his talents as a singer and a songwriter. He knows which traditions to borrow from better than most of his contemporaries, and that level of good taste helps him get away with being no less tangentially connected to country music than everything else on the radio today.
He just has the good sense to mix country music with something strong and potent – whiskey instead of water, if you will.